Web Accessibility: Becoming a Stronger Advocate

Libraries must ensure that users of all abilities can successfully use the technologies we provide. Despite the many ethical and legal motivations, not all of our technologies meet accessibility standards. Ultimately, the responsibility for making technologies accessible falls to the developers and vendors, but it is the responsibility of library staff to facilitate accessibility of information to all patrons, regardless of ability. Advocacy from library staff of all levels and duties is crucial for ensuring that access for persons of differing abilities is a mandatory priority in library technology services. This workshop is about providing library workers of all technical backgrounds with a foundation of knowledge and skills to begin actively advocate for conformance to accessibility standards. Attendees will learn of key topics in accessibility: different ability types, types of assistive technologies, legislation and standards, and related issues of usability and respect. Although emphasis will not be placed on the finer details of implementing accessible design, relevant technologies and practices such as ARIA, screen readers, etc. will be covered. Heuristics and other simple independent accessibility testing practices will be taught and experienced through interactive exercises. Attendees will also gain practice in how to successfully converse with vendors and developers about accessibility. By the end of the workshop, attendees will have a formidable toolkit of vocabulary, methods, and additional resources enable them to begin and grow their advocacy for equal access for all persons of differing abilities in their libraries and institutions. This workshop is targeted at people new to web accessibility but also to anyone wanting to learn more. A survey sent prior to the conference will help determine the topics and depth to be covered. Some experience with HTML is desired but not required.

Room: Science and Engineering Library - 8270 Boelter Hall SEL Classroom